In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the
What is your opinion about the reports that
Washington has agreed to the proposal to allow the
Afghan Taliban to open a political office in Qatar?
The British press is reporting that this represents a
critical step on the road to reconciliation with the
Taliban, more than a decade after the 9/11 attacks?
Ahmadi: Yes, this is true…after the US and its
allies failed to militarily control the "Islamic
Emirate" [the Taliban refers to itself as the Islamic
Emirate of Afghanistan], it has been forced to deal
with us, and this is by opening the door to direct
dialogue. The Islamic Emirate will play its role
following the opening of this office, which will serve
the jihadist interests, guarantee the end of
occupation and bring security to Afghanistan.
Asharq Al-Awsat: What are the Taliban's major
conditions for entering negotiations?
Ahmadi: Our conditions during the negotiations
will be an end to occupation and for the US to leave
the affairs of Afghanistan to the Afghan people.
Asharq Al-Awsat: Do you think the Arab Spring
will reach Afghanistan?
Ahmadi: There can be no doubt that the Afghan
resistance against the occupiers during the past
century, and the ongoing efforts of the Afghan people
against US occupation and its NATO allies, have
inspired the resistance of the vulnerable people in
the world and prompted them to revolt against regimes
that are ruling them against their will. We must
therefore say that the "resistance spring" against the
occupiers began in Afghanistan and ended, by the grace
of God, with the autumn of US hegemony and the
collapse of its authoritarian regimes in the Arab
Asharq Al-Awsat: Does the Taliban intend to
open other political offices in Saudi Arabia, Libya,
Turkey, Egypt, and elsewhere, as is being claimed by
Ahmadi: After 10 years of jihad and
steadfastness on the part of the Afghan people against
the arrogant occupiers, the entire world is aware of
the strength of the Afghan jihad and has accepted the
reality of the situation in the Afghan arena. This has
caused many countries in the world to desire contact
with the Islamic Emirate and the political office of
the Islamic Emirate. The Islamic Emirate will welcome
the opening of its political offices in these
countries and others, if this is approved.
Asharq Al-Awsat: What is your assessment of
what is being repeated by the American side in
Afghanistan, namely that they are ready to negotiate
and that there is a reconciliation strategy in place?
Ahmadi: The US side is prepared to negotiate
with the Islamic Emirate after it did everything in
its power to forcibly eliminate our jihadist power;
however it failed to achieve anything tangible in this
regard. The Islamic Emirate told the Americans ten
years ago that the ideal solution to all problems was
peaceful negotiations without depending on the use of
force. The Americans now being prepared to negotiate
represents recognition of the strength of the Islamic
Emirate and the legitimacy of the Afghan people's
jihad. They should have put forward this initiative
before thousands of their soldiers were killed and
injured, as well as losing billions of dollars in
Asharq Al-Awsat: The US Ambassador to
Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, previously informed Asharq
Al-Awsat that Washington has spent over $20 billion in
civilian assistance to the Afghan people since 2001,
which has resulted in many tangible achievements on
the ground, including seven million Afghan children in
primary and secondary education, and statistics
indicate that 37 percent of Afghan students are girls.
However during the Taliban era, girls were prohibited
from education. Do you have any comment on this?
Ahmadi: Our comment is: compare the
achievements of the Americans [in Afghanistan] with
the negative results of the US occupation which have
resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of
Afghans, including women and children, as well the
heavy destruction caused to the Afghan infrastructure.
In his statements, the US ambassador must make
reference to the large thefts that have taken place in
front of his eyes as a result of the rife corruption
that is hanging over the people [of Afghanistan].
The US ambassador claims that $20 billion has been
spent on infrastructure in Afghanistan, however he is
ignoring the rampant corruption that is present in
government institutions under the auspices of the US
We ask the ambassador, where has this huge amount of
money been spent [in Afghanistan], in light of the
fact that 27 Afghan children died in a refugee camp in
the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul – which is news
that the international media is ignoring – only a few
kilometers away from the US embassy? These deaths were
due to the lack of adequate housing [in
Kabul]...therefore these children were forced to live
in the refugee camp and endure terrible weather
conditions including snow and bitter cold.
When the US ambassador is listing the alleged
achievements [of the Americans], he must mentions the
criminal acts carried out by American soldiers
recently against the Afghan people, from desecrating
the corpses of the slain to committing sexual assaults
against children to utilizing fighter jets to bomb and
kill innocent people.
Asharq Al-Awsat: If the Taliban returns to rule
in Afghanistan, do you have social and economic plans
in place to raise the standard of living in the
country? How will you engage with the outside world?
Ahmadi: The policy of the Islamic Emirate with
regards to creating economic and development plans and
projects to raise the standard of living of the Afghan
people and its future dealings with the outside world
have been clearly made in the official statements of
the Islamic Emirate which have been issued from the
office of the Commander of the Faithful [Mullah Omar],
and anybody who wants to know this need only refer to
Asharq Al-Awsat: What is the objective of
Taliban operations that have taken place in the heart
of Kabul in broad daylight, for example, the latest
attack on the diplomatic district? Is the goal to
expose the inability of the Karzai government to
Ahmadi: This will not be the last time that the
US embassy and the military headquarters of foreign
troops will be targeted; we will attack them in the
future as well, in addition to using other tactics.
The objective of this is to show the power of the
mujahedeen and their military presence in the heart of
the Afghan capital Kabul, and invalidate the claims of
the Americans that they have pushed out the Mujahideen
from some areas.
Asharq Al-Awsat: It has been reported in some
western media that Mullah Mohammed Tayyib Agha, the
Afghan mediator in the peace talks, fled Germany
–where he was in the process of negotiating a peace
settlement – after his name was revealed in the press.
Is this true?
Ahmadi: Escape is not a habit of the Mujahideen,
brother Mohammed Tayyib Agha did not flee, rather he
is carrying out his effective and active role with
regards to the policies of the Islamic Emirate, and
this is something that is confirmed by the western
Asharq Al-Awsat: In your own view, to what
extent does NATO bombardment in Afghanistan result in
Ahmadi: To a very great extent indeed, and far
greater than what is revealed by the international
Asharq Al-Awsat: What are the Taliban sources
of funding? Does the Taliban enjoy Arab and Gulf
support in this regard?
Ahmadi: The most important source of funding
for the Mujahideen is the Afghan people themselves;
the Afghan people are funding and assisting the
Mujahideen, financially and materially. We must also
not forget the assistance provided by our brothers in
the Islamic world, and their standing with us against
Asharq Al-Awsat: Is it true, as US officials
claim, that the Taliban is dependent upon
opium-production to fund its operations?
Ahmadi: Do not believe everything the Americans
say, for they say that they have eliminated the
Taliban and removed them from the areas that they
control...if you believed such claims then we do not
have anywhere to sit down, let alone harvest opium.
We have repeatedly stated, and I will say this once
again here, that jihad is a legitimate obligation and
we have never funded this with drugs, nor do we intend
to do so in the future. It is the explicit policy of
the Islamic Emirate to eradicate drugs [from
Asharq Al-Awsat: US forces have claimed, on
more than one occasion, that the Taliban receives
support from Iran, in the form of technology,
improvised explosive devices [IED's], etc. Is this
Ahmadi: Let me tell the Americans that if
foreign assistance was effective on the Afghan
battlefield then you [the Americans] would have been
victorious, because you receive military assistance
from more than 47 foreign states.
Yes, we acknowledge that we have made developments,
with the grace of God, in the making of IED's that
have defeated the Americans and their allies, and we
will further develop this, God willing.
Asharq Al-Awsat: Can you tell us how many
fighters the Taliban has? What is your view of the
Taliban members who have put down their arms and
joined reconciliation programs?
Ahmadi: The number of fighters that the Islamic
Emirate possesses is the entire Afghan people, not
including Karzai and the number of ministers in his
government, in addition to some of his [Karzai's]
mercenary officials. As for the reconciliation
program, and the announcements they make every day
regarding the number of people who have joined this,
in reality this is nothing more than buying and
selling project between senior Karzai government
officials and foreign parties, and this is in order to
exchange and access large amounts of money that they
have earmarked in this regard.
Asharq Al-Awsat: How much does a Taliban member
or fighter earn a month? What is a Taliban fighter's
daily life like?
Ahmadi: A Mujahid who sacrifices his body and
soul in order to uphold the word of God will refuse to
take financial reward for his priceless sacrifice.
Asharq Al-Awsat: Why have the Americans so far
failed to capture Mullah Omar?
Ahmadi: The secret of this can be seen in the
words of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in the hadith
when he said "if the whole Ummah (nation) were to
unite and try to benefit you in something, they would
never benefit you except by that which Allah has
written for you. And if the whole Ummah were to unite
and try to harm you in something, they would never be
able to harm you except that Allah had written it upon
you." Narrated in Sahih al-Tirmidhi and in Mushan
Ahmed and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani.
Asharq Al-Awsat: Do you think somebody betrayed
Bin Laden and revealed his whereabouts in Abbottabad,
Pakistan to the Americans, thus leading to his death?
Ahmadi: It would be better if you asked this
question of the Americans themselves.
Asharq Al-Awsat: What is your view of the
rampant corruption that has plagued Afghanistan?
Ahmadi: Looking at the corruption of the
members of the Karzai administration, his
administration is the very definition of corruption
and is akin to a mafia in itself. The people view all
members of this administration as being a corrupt gang
put in place by America to plunder the wealth of the
Afghan people, and we do not expect anything good of
them in administering an Islamic country like
Asharq Al-Awsat: If the Taliban return to
power, will you host Al Qaeda once more, or will you
avoid this, having learnt the lessons of the past?
Ahmadi: You must notice that the Americans
acknowledged, on more than one occasion, that Al Qaeda
is no longer centered in Afghanistan, whilst on the
other hand the situation in the Islamic world has
experienced huge change, with successful revolutions
having taken place in Arab states, in a phenomenon
that has been named the Arab Spring. Islamic movements
have succeeded in suppressing authoritarian
governments that previously unjustly expelled or
forced these movements to flee their countries.
Therefore Al Qaeda and other Islamic organizations
have now found what they need elsewhere, and I believe
they are no longer interested in Afghanistan.
Asharq Al-Awsat: Why did the Taliban movement
ban Afghan women from education when it was ruling the
country? Why did it ban satellite dishes, despite the
fact that Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Wakil Ahmed
Muttawakil previously informed Asharq Al-Awsat that
during this period he used to watch international news
media on a daily basis?
Ahmadi: The Islamic Emirate, during its rule of
Afghanistan...was in the process of creating the
correct conditions for girls' education, and we did
not say that we comprehensively prohibited this.
Girls' education during the Taliban era was not zero,
as is claimed, but rather many girls schools were
opened in mosques in Kabul and elsewhere, but this did
not spread throughout the country due to economic
reasons, and unfortunately no institutions or states
helped us in this regard.
As for the prohibitions of satellite dishes, we did
not comprehensively prohibit this; indeed some
satellite channels even had official offices in the
capital Kabul, such as Al Jazeera, the Abu Dhabi
channel, CNN and other news agencies. Your statement
that Mr. Muttawakil would watch international news
channels on a daily basis is the best evidence of
this. We prepared all our capabilities for such news
channels; however the Americans, during the first day
of the fall of Kabul, bombed the Al Jazeera office,
and destroyed all its broadcasting capabilities.
Yes, we ordered the closure of lewd channels because
of the intellectual and moral damage they cause to the
Afghan people. Today, and in light of the American
hegemony on Afghanistan, as soon as people realized
the corruption this was causing to the Afghan people,
everybody began calling for the closure of such
channels, even members of the Karzai National
Assembly, after they witnessed the negative impact
such corrupt channels have had on the behavior of our
Asharq Al-Awsat: Why are Afghan women
apprehensive regarding news of reconciliation with the
Taliban, or reports of the Taliban returning to power,
viewing this as a threat to women's rights in the
country? Is this true? If the Taliban return to power,
what is the fate of the thousands of girls' schools
that have been opened?
Ahmadi: Establishing security in Afghanistan by
any legitimate means is something that Afghan women
want even more than Afghan men, and the Islamic
Emirate has been committed to women's rights,
including the right to education, in light of Islamic
teachings, and we will continue to be committed to
this in the future.
Asharq Al-Awsat: In light of the high cost of
bloodshed and destruction in the country, has the time
come to establish peace and return stability to
Ahmadi: Establishing safety and security in the
country is the demand of every Afghan citizen, and
this is their legitimate right, and so it is up to the
Americans and their allies to end the occupation of
Afghanistan to allow the people to live in freedom
away from the atmosphere of war that has been imposed
Asharq Al-Awsat: In the Taliban-controlled
areas of Afghanistan, are Taliban affiliated judges
implementing Islamic Sharia law?
Ahmadi: Our judges are present even in areas
that the Karzai administration is in control of, and
people refer to them in solving all their legal and
judicial problems; because they are known for their
integrity and their lack of corruption and avoidance
Asharq Al-Awsat: Are you satisfied that 350
Afghan religious scholars called for Islamic Sharia
law to be implemented in the country? Do you consider
this a move to reconcile with Afghan society?
Ahmadi: Implementing Islamic Sharia law is the
only guarantee for the happiness of all human beings,
and millions of Afghans have been martyred to ensure
that this is implemented in their country. The Islamic
Emirate considers the implementation of Islamic Sharia
law to be one of its political priorities in
Asharq Al-Awsat: Why do some Afghans resort to
Taliban courts to settle their disputes?
Ahmadi: This is simply because the Karzai
administration courts are mired incorruption and
Asharq Al-Awsat: How do you think we can solve
the problem of drug cultivation in Afghanistan? Does
Afghanistan truly benefit from this with regards to
taxation and the economy, as claimed by the Western
Ahmadi: As for drugs, the Taliban clamped down
on this during its rule of Afghanistan and was able to
solve this problem by completely prohibiting this
across the country. However when America and its
allies came to our country, they supported the
cultivation of drugs, and encouraged farmers to do so
by paying them money. The Americans worked to increase
the drug trade and open new markets, and they
trafficked these drugs via planes; so they are
responsible for the increase in the drug trade.